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AHA: U.S. Cardiovascular Disease Burden Still High

Statistical Update for 2012 shows drop in death rate, but traditional risk factors still prevalent

THURSDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Despite a decrease in the rate of death attributable to cardiovascular disease and stroke, the burden of disease is still high, according to the American Heart Association's (AHA's) Heart Disease and Stroke Statistical Update 2012, published online Dec. 15 in Circulation.

Véronique L. Roger, M.D., M.P.H., from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues, on behalf of AHA Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee, reviewed the literature and updated U.S. statistics on heart disease, stroke, and other vascular diseases to produce the 2012 Statistical Update.

The authors reported that, from 1998 to 2008, the rate of death attributable to cardiovascular disease and stroke decreased by 30.6 and 34.8 percent, respectively. Traditional risk factors are still prevalent, including hypertension, smoking, total serum cholesterol ≥240 mg/dL, diabetes, and prediabetes. Overweight or obesity was seen in 67.3 and 31.7 percent of adults and children, respectively. Between 1971 and 2004, the average total calorie consumption in men and women increased by 10 and 22 percent, respectively. In 2009, 29.9 and 17 percent of adolescent boys and girls, respectively, and 33 percent of adults did not engage in regular physical activity. Between 2007 and 2008, the cost of cardiovascular care increased by over $11 billion. For 2008, the direct and indirect cost of cardiovascular disease and stroke treatment was $297.7 billion.

"The 2012 Statistical Update is a major source for monitoring both cardiovascular health and disease in the population, with a focus on progress toward achievement of the AHA's 2020 Impact Goals," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical, medical device, and medical publishing industries. One of the study authors was an expert witness in a stroke-related case. One of the study authors is listed as a co-inventor on a patent for use of trans-palmitoleic acid.

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